Thursday, March 1, 2007

subjective history lesson

Purim - Megillat Esther

The midrash on Megillat Esther tells over a very interesting conversation that took place.

Haman was pestering Ahashverosh to let him destroy the Jews. Finally Ahashverosh considers it and calls a meeting of all his wise men and advisers and asks for their professional opinion whether it is feasible or not.

The wise men go into a lengthy response of why it is not possible. They say, the world was created for the Torah which is studied by the Jews. The Jews are the closest nation to God, even called His children. If you destroy the Jews, you are getting personal with God and He will not allow it to happen and will bring his wrath down upon you. Look at history at anyone who has tried to destroy the jews and what has happened to them. Pharoah was destroyed, Sanherev and his army were wiped out...

Haman jumps in and says it can be done. God is old and can no longer respond the way he used to. he points out Nebuchadnezzar who only 60 or so years prior had burned down the beis hamikdash and exiled the jews.

Haman is persuasive and they all agree. They wrk out some details and Haman is selected to lead the campaign against the Jews.

The midrash continues with Haman's rationale. Haman goes through history describing how bad the Jews were and how they must be destroyed. I will review it briefly. He says how Pharoah took the Jews in so kindly and the jews repaid him with nothing but trouble. they kept insisting on leaving and when he let them they took all the valuables of Egypt. Then Pharaoh decided to chase them to get his money back and ended up getting pushed into the sea. After all the good Pharoah did for them, this is how they treated him!

Haman continues describing the different nations that Israel battled with in the desert and how the Jews were cruel for no reason and started wars and destroyed nations for no reason. Then they go into Israel and wipe out all the inhabitants and steal the land. He continues through Jewish history and the various kings and talks about how they all were vicious and cruel and fought with nations for no reason and destroyed them. He gets to Nebuchadnezzar who destroyed the beis hamikdash because the Jews stopped listening to their God and he says and now they live among us and they have kept their old, ugly traditions. They continue to taunt us and our gods. Now we have to destroy them... etc..

Look how a person can deceive himself to see what he wants to see. Haman points out all these events and at the same time where he can see clearly, and even says so at times, that the God of the Jews helped them be so successful, he still refuses to look at it objectively and realize that Hashem caused all their successes.

He still, despite having walked through all of Israel's history and their successes, thinks that it is not God protecting the Jews and that he will be able to overcome them.

This is the story of the megilla and of Purim. One has to look deeper than face value, Only then can you realize that Hashem is behind the scenes pulling the strings. If you only look at face value, you can fail to see the truth behind all the events and continue to delude yourself..


Neil Harris said...

I'm printing up your d'vrai Torah to read over Shabbos and on Purim. Thanks!!

Independent Frum Thinker said...

Great point! Thank you.

socialworker/frustrated mom said...